Jordan, Japan finalise draft nuclear deal

June 15th, 2010 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Amman, June 15 (DPA) Jordan said Tuesday that it had reached agreement with Japan on a draft nuclear cooperation accord, as King Abdullah II accused Israel of trying to block Amman’s acquisition of nuclear know-how for peaceful purposes.
The agreement, the eighth to be concluded with states with nuclear technology by Jordan, followed a final round of negotiations between the two countries in Amman over the past few days, according to the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC).

The nuclear cooperation agreement is expected to be officially signed by the two countries later this year after it is approved by the Japanese parliament, a JAEC statement said.

Jordan has shortlisted three offers for the nuclear technology; a joint offer from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and French giant AREVA, as well as from Canadian and Russian firms.

As of this month, JAEC and its consultant, Worley Parsons, entered discussions with the three suppliers to select the final bidder, the statement said.

The JAEC said that it would then proceed to select one vendor to negotiate a final contract for the design and construction of the nuclear plant, intended to be built 25 kilometres outside the Red Sea port of Aqaba and several kilometres inland.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, King Abdullah accused Israel of trying to prevent Jordan from developing a peaceful nuclear programme, aimed at producing energy.

He told the paper that Israel had approached France and South Korea with requests to refrain from selling Jordan nuclear technology.

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